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Many growers choose to research cannabis cloning methods so they can help ensure they're growing plants with good genetics that will yield a bountiful harvest. Using cloned plants is also cheaper than ordering seeds. Oftentimes growers in established areas produce clones to sell or trade one another. Beginning growers should find groups to get involved with to enhance their knowledge of cannabis cloning methods and access to diverse clones.
Two Cloning Methods: “Momma” Vs. “No Momma Method”
There are two cannabis cloning methods commonly used. Both require that there are at least 2 separate dedicated rooms—one for growing, and one for cloning.
The first method requires that a dedicated mother plant be grown in one room in vegetative growth and that all clones be taken from that “Mother” plant.
The second method requires that the clones be taken from the plants in the main grow room and placed in the second clone room until ready for use. There is NO one dedicated mother plant that the clones are taken from, instead the clones are taken from multiple selected plants. Using this method the clones are usually taken anytime up to 2 to 3 weeks into the flowering cycle to assure that the clones will successfully grow.
Clones can be taken later into the flowering cycle, but their chances of surviving are reduced the later into the flowering process that they are taken.
Pros and Cons of Cloning Methods
Using the “Momma Method” the mother plant or plants will need a larger space for growing and they will need more light than the clones need. A third area might also be required for keeping the clones, as they do not have the same requirement as the fully-grown mother plant.
Using the “Momma Method” once the clones are showing roots they can be placed with the Momma plant(s) for vegetative growth until ready to be moved to the main grow room for flowering. This means that the main grow room can be left in the flowering mode 100% of the time.
Using the “No Momma Method” the clones once taken can be kept in the cloning area until ready to be transplanted into the main grow room. This method normally requires a smaller area for cloning than the space required for the “Momma Method”. Though this does mean that the main grow room will have to be used for vegetative growth until the plants are ready (big enough) to be flowered.
Using the “Momma Method” allows for one or more selected strains to be grown for multiple crops.
Step-By-Step Cloning Processes
Cloning can be an easy successful process as long as the proper equipment is used and the proper steps are followed.
• Rooting Gel, liquid, powder or compound.
• Clean new razor blade.
• Scissors or small pruning shears.
• Glass plain neutral pH water.
• Small 2” X 2” Rockwool cube or 2” peat pot full of premium grade potting soil.
• Spray bottle full of diluted nutrient/fertilizer rich water (dilute nutrient or fertilizer solution by at least 50 percent)
• Plastic tray or saucer to place clones into with a clear plastic dome.
• Fluorescent lit area to place clones into.
- First clean an area on a countertop or table near the plant the clones will be taken from and planted in to.
- Layout all equipment on the table.
- Even though the survival rate for clones can be 90 –100%, always take extra clones so that the healthiest, strongest clones can be chosen for transplanting to vegetative growth.
- Choose a plant to clone from which has the genetics desired and is large enough to take clones from. The plant that the clone(s) will be taken from should be large enough to have multiple nodes or branches.
- Choose a branch or stem that has at least one node, a small stem area above the node and a few small leaves.
- With the scissors or small pruning shears cut the “chosen clone” approximately 1& ¼” to 2” below the node.
- Prepare the medium filled peat pot or Rockwool cube by poking a small hole at least 1/2” deep in the potting soil in the small peat pots or slicing the Rockwool cube lengthwise half way through, so the Rockwool cube can be slightly opened up like a book.
- Immediately place the cut end of the clone into the glass of water.
- Remove the clone from the water and using the razor trim the stem directly below the node at a 45-degree angle.
- Immediately dip the cut end into the rooting powder, gel or liquid.
- Place the coated end of the clone into the hole in the medium in the peat pot or into the opening of the cut Rockwool cube, leaving the top of the clone protruding out the top of the peat pot or Rockwool cube.
- Place peat pot or Rockwool cube clone into the plastic tray or saucer and mist lightly.
- Repeat steps above until the desired quantity of clones have been taken.
- Place domed cover on the clones and place the tray or saucer under the fluorescent light for 24 hours per day until multiple roots are showing through the peat pot or Rockwool cube.
- Keep the clones in a warm (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), moist (50 to 60% humidity) at all times.
- Check on the clones at least once daily and keep the clones slightly moist at all times. The clones do not need to be kept dripping wet.
- In approximately 1 – 2 weeks, once there are multiple roots showing out of the peat pot or Rockwool cube, the plant(s) can be moved to the vegetative grow area.
Air Layer Cloning
Air layering is an excellent method for cloning when a grower chooses to transplant a cutting with roots directly into an established Aeroponics or medium-less Hydroponic grow system.
The following items will be needed to air layer a clone:
• Diluted (1/2 strength) nutrient solution or fertilizer/water mix
• Plastic wrap
• Rooting hormone
• Razor blade
• Small Rockwool cube or Rockwool media
• Clean or sterilize all equipment and the immediate surrounding work area.
- On the chosen mother plant select a good strong branch or stem at least 1/8” 1/4” thick with at least 2 nodes. Using the razor blade carefully split the branch lengthwise (vertically) approximately 1/4” into the branch.
- Use the tweezers to open the split slightly being careful not to break the branch completely.
- Apply rooting hormone to the split area and tape a toothpick to the stem to support the split area. Place the tape above and below the split area, do not cover the split area.
- Slit the Rockwool cube lengthwise and place it on the Rockwool media around the split area, completely covering the split.
- Cover the Rockwool with the plastic wrap and poke a small hole in the bag.
- Using the eyedropper keep the Rockwool slightly moist, watering through the hole in the plastic wrap.
- Check the Rockwool daily, being sure to keep it slightly moist.
- After approximately 2 weeks the split area will have begun producing roots and is now ready for transplanting.
- Cut the air layered clone below the rooted Rockwool area, remove the plastic wrap, tape and toothpick and transplant the rooted clone into the new growing area.
Cannabis cloning methods are important to learn if you want to grow your own cannabis. To learn how to clone and grow robust healthy plants from sprout to harvest, enroll in CTU today.